A Fitting New Tenant for Eichler’s Only Shopping Center

It’s been a hard-fought battle to preserve Edgewood Plaza, the only shopping center Joe Eichler developed. But after a 10-year struggle to keep the center from being torn down, a new grocery store has opened as an anchor tenant that celebrates the A. Quincy Jones-designed structure’s Eichler heritage.

Fresh Market is the centerpiece of Sand Hill Property Co.’s renovation of Edgewood Plaza, which the company is carrying out after a 10-year battle with neighbors and preservationists opposed to its original plan to raze the shopping center and redevelop it into retail and homes.

The high-end food market will feature on its walls 10 photos from famed Eichler photographer Ernie Braun, and has been designed to emphasize its unique Eichler characteristics. The Palo Alto Daily News spoke with Fresh Market spokeswoman Drewry Sackett:

In some ways, though, the Palo Alto location isn't a typical Fresh Market, Sackett said. It was designed to emphasize its Eichler characteristics, from the original wooden beams running the width of the building to a bank of windows that flood the interior with natural light.
The interior was inspired by the original architecture of the building," she said, adding that most locations have dark red floors and ceilings. "It's a real combination of things we've been able to either preserve, reproduce, bring back to their original state or do something with a similar look and feel.

The grocery store will likely fit in well with the family-oriented neighborhood surrounding it. And it should also please neighbors dismayed by the demolition of one of the center’s original buildings, which was supposed to have been deconstructed and moved, but which was largely splintered last year.

The Edgewood refurbishment “also calls for additional neighborhood-serving retail, 10 single-family homes, and a small park,” the Daily News reports, but Fresh Market is probably worth a visit now, for the curious Eichler fan, if only to check out the new interior and those large-scale Braun prints while enjoying an organic apple cider.